Jumbled thinking is a symptom, as well as a cause, of our hectic way of life. Not taking time to digest experiences, before moving on to others, is like using a calculator without first clearing the screen; our calculations are off.I recently decided to steady this wild beast of a lifestyle by setting aside unscheduled time each day and week to let things settle. Quakers call this process seasoning.
To do this, I first had to choose what is important to me and limit my activities to these priorities. This way the nonessentials do not become a distractions; more is not better if it is too much.
Next, I had to create a rhythm for my days and weeks, setting a time for each activity, like checking my e-mail and shopping for food. This way, I don’t feel compelled to do both at any given moment, leaving me scattered in many directions, nor do I have myriad things on my mind, keeping me perpetually aware of their need to be done.
The lull now created has the effect of setting a shaken solution down: the motion stops, the debris drops and the liquid becomes clear. In these spaces I can more clearly see what is going on, remember my purpose and decide what I need to do. This allows me to steer my course, rather than being carried downstream with the current.
I believe that the only way we can create saner ways of living, is by taking breaks from the current, taking the time to see what is happening and choosing to do what makes sense.